We are thrilled to showcase Andrea Velazquez as our first ever Featured FindSpark Creative. We love Andrea for a number of reasons – her positive attitude and creativity make her both approachable, fun, and interesting to be around. She has volunteered for FindSpark since September, and we are so lucky to have her on our team.
Joins us in celebrating the very talented and awesome Andrea Velazquez!
What sets you apart from other young creatives?
I think what sets me apart from other creatives is my approach to the field. I’m still at a very early stage of my creative career, a point that’s really characterized by experimenting with different fields and mediums of creativity. At this point I’m focused on developing my craft in terms of developing a good “eye” for design and all its components. Although I know I want to go in the direction of graphic design, the end goal is still undefined. Because of this, I challenge myself to work with different projects that allow me to play with illustration (digital and traditional), colors, typography, layouts, and even web design.
What is your proudest career moment (so far)?
My proudest career moment was when my first project was featured on Creative Bloq, a creativity and inspiration blog. I had just begun my projects series so it was a ridiculously amazing feeling to be recognized by someone who’s job is to look for cool and interesting projects to write about. I probably went to the article at least 50 times the day it came out, I seriously couldn’t believe it! Definitely helped give me that extra “UMPH” of confidence that motivated me to come up with new projects.
What’s something cool you’ve made / done recently?
I’m taking a design and illustration course in SVA this Spring and for my first project I made a collage by slicing up a bunch of colors I found in magazines and pasting them into the shape of a circle. It’s definitely something more on the “artsy” side, but my favorite part about it was that I only worked with my hands to make it. You end up missing that when you work on the computer all the time.
What’s something new you’ve recently learned?
I just keep learning about all the things people are doing within the creative field. The other day I learned about an extremely multidisciplinary studio of about 3 people – their clients ask them to make typefaces, graphic design, illustrations, website design, stage design, and even architecture design! It’s so cool to see real-life examples of people who don’t just stick to a title and just do everything they can do and want to do.
Where do you see yourself in in 5 years?
The golden question. I’d like to go to design school within the next 5 years. Preferably abroad and in a design-rich country like Switzerland, Germany or even South Africa. I really want to use that time to explore and continue learning about what people around the world are doing and how they do it. It’s all about staying naïve and hungry to learn more. One thing’s for sure, I really want to have a dog in 5 years. A black french bulldog with a name like “Bert” or “Beans”. :)
What’s been your favorite piece of career advice you’ve received?
“Do what you do and don’t worry about what it’s called.”
What has been your biggest obstacle, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle is definitely not having gone to any design or art school. It’s caused me to start from scratch and relatively late in the game when compared to my peers who are already working within the design field. However, I like to think that I can use this to my advantage – having no previous education means that I don’t know what’s “right” or “wrong.” Because of that, I just make what I make and luckily people like it so I just keep making more. I go more with what feels right that what I know is right, which also helps make the work more personal and true to who I am. Of course there’s basic rules behind design (particularly with typography and layout) that I’m still learning, but at the same time I feel a certain kind of freedom when I break the rules because I don’t know any better and I just go with my gut.
What’s your favorite part about being a FindSpark Member?
The community and the resources FindSpark connect you to. FindSpark has helped me learn how to effectively manage my online presence through Twitter and LinkedIn, how to network (and love it!), and the importance of the follow-up. I’ve met such great and interesting people through all FindSpark events, and it’s so great when you start seeing the same people at different events. It kinda feels like its own little family within the crazyness that is New York City.
How did you hear about FindSpark?
My first experience with FindSpark (at the time NYCreative Interns) was through its Fall Opportunity Mixer last August. I had just moved to New York and looking for a job so I went to the event to meet recruiters and see if I could snag an interview. I was instantly hooked and have loved being involved ever since.
Anything else cool you’d like to share?
I love meeting new people, feel free to reach out and say hi!
You can also find Andrea’s artwork featured on Creative Bloq.